Lunch for Friday, May 28, 2010

Last work day of May!  Wow this month has flown by and to think I have done at least one bento every single work day.  I can't believe it.  I hope to improve on my bentos in the coming month.  When I look back at the first one I did I can't believe it looks so bad.  I have some favorites from last month and some not so favorites.  I have learned what I prefer in my bento and what I would rather keep out.  I hope to use more leftovers in my bentos by actually cooking a dinner in the evenings.  The kid and I tend to just eat whatever we can grab for dinner.  But I can proudly say I have lost 8 pounds this last month.  That itself makes it worth getting up earlier to make my bento.

For today's lunch I was in the mood for a sandwich.  I took a sandwich thin and placed some ham inside and gave my face some green lettuce hair.  The eyes are slices of boiled egg with nori accents.  I also gave my smiley face sandwich a red pepper nose and sharp cheddar smile.  To continue with happy faces I put a half of an apple cut side down with a cheese and clove face and I placed the rest of the sliced boiled egg in there with a nori face.  I was thinking this was one "happy meal" then looking at the chunk of red bell pepper with the carrots coming out the top it kind of looks like a McDonalds fry holder and fries.  Just a lot healthier.

Lunch for Thursday, May 27, 2010

Well school is out and the kid is happy to officially start his summer.  I was happy that I only had to make one bento today.  I was so sleepy.  I stayed up too late reading a book.  But for today I have Sweet-Sour Red Wine Vinegar Chicken and a Vegetable Grain Cup I made using the recipes from Just Bento.  Last time I made the gratin cup I put it in the kids lunch.  He didn't like it but again he does not like mayo.  He did eat about half of it before he decided that.  For my rice I made disc shaped rice patties and then pan seared them.  Maybe tomorrow I will have gotten more sleep and I can do a charaben.  But we'll see because, tomorrow is another day.

Lunch for Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today is the kids last day of school.  He had the option of eating Chick-fil-a, a sack lunch from the cafeteria or bringing a lunch from home.  I was surprised when he requested that I make spring rolls for his lunch.  I figured he would want Chick-fil-a.  So being the mom I am I made spring rolls this morning.  Now all of his had to be disposable so I placed the spring rolls in wax paper and the grapes in a ziplock bag and placed all of it in a plain gift bag.  Last night he told me that someone at his school asked if I was a chef.  He said he told them yes I was.  And he had a friend over last night telling me how cool the kid's lunches were.  Ahh I felt pride in that.

For the spring rolls I took some rice paper wraps and laid down some napa cabbage and bibb lettuce.  Then I placed some cellophane noodles, chicken, cucumber, carrots, peanuts and mint.  While rolling these up I remember how much the rice paper likes to stick to itself.  It was a struggle but I managed.  I also made a peanut dipping sauce to go with them.

Now my lunch got to go into a new bento.  This set has skulls and crossbones on it.  A really cool ebay purchase.  I added a few grape tomatoes to fill the gaps.  I am very much looking forward to eating this lunch today.  Yummy.

Lunch for Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When I got up this morning I would have rather slept in and not made a lunch.  Maybe I didn't want to get up because I didn't have anything cute planned.  But once I got up and around I did fix our bento's.  I have been in the mood for stir-fry type foods so that is what we are having today.  I took some stir-fry wheat flour noodles and cooked them while pan steaming some carrots, broccoli and red bell pepper.  In the same pan as the veggies I heated up some teriyaki chicken that I pulled from the freezer.  Once they were done and removed I dumped in the noodles and added some teriyaki sauce.  Today I remembered to add a small sauce container filled with extra teriyaki sauce.  OH and see the spongy looking round thing?  It's a mini Twinkie!!!  It's from one of those 100 calorie packs.  I am loving these.  I have bought the Oreo Cakesters and now Twinkies.  Makes it easy for me to put in the bento and the box last a long time since I am just using less than one package for two bento's.

I am finally using my cute small round bento again.  Last time I used it was for soup.  I thought stir-fry would be great in it.  I have bought so many bentos that I still have one set I have not even used at all.  Hmmm.  Maybe tomorrow...

Lunch for Monday, May 24, 2010

Today the kid has a class party at school.  So I did not fix him a bento.  For mine I created a happy hippo.  Or at least it is suppose to look like a hippo.  I forgot to color the rice and didn't remember until it was already cooked. I hand shaped the rice by putting it in some plastic wrap while it was still warm.  I added some sesame chicken and veggies to my bento and filled a very small container with strawberries and grapes.  Although I forgot some ranch dressing for my veggies.  I am going to have to get better at remembering a sauce for dipping.  I think I should have given the hippo a tongue so it looked like he was licking a lollipop. Instead he is just holding onto it.  LOL

Lunch for Friday, May 21, 2010

I had planned on doing a Shrek themed bento for the kid today but as soon as he found out he nixed the plan.  He said it was girly.  Shrek is girly?  Since when?  Ugh 10 year olds.  Kind of made me angry.  It made me even forget about the rice that was cooking.  45 minutes later it was still on the stove.  But get wasn't even burnt and didn't taste bad.  So I still packed it up.  AND I still did everything in green and black.  I'm sure he will have something to say about the pickle on the rice.  LOL  I do not have a lunch for today.  I have a lunch date again this Friday.  I love going out with friends for lunch but don't these people know my bento obsession.  HAHA

Lunch for Thursday, May 20, 2010

Well after yesterday's disastrous looking lunch I knew I had to step it up a little today.  But last night I did not get to prep anything.  I was too busy watching the weather alerts on TV.  So all of this was done this morning.  Good thing I woke up early from a nightmare.  It was such a strange dream.  This ghost kept hiding my makeup and bento accessories.  And was hiding things while I was making a bento.  The last thing I remember was the ghost throwing a lit match at me.  Then I woke up.  I'm sure it just means I have a burning desire to make bentos.  LOL

Anyway onto today's lunch.  I took a piece of salmon and cut it into the pieces I wanted to fit into the bentos, pour some teriyaki sauce on to and broiled it in the toaster oven.  I also made another tamagoyaki.  I think I am getting better at these.  And I heated up some of those dumplings that are premade, just frozen.  And for the kids bento I lined things in rows.  Trying it make it more visually pleasing than yesterday.  Last night in the mail was some more goodies I had ordered.  See the little green container?  I felt these were a necessity to hold sauces and salad dressings.  These are the only ones that were not "too cute" as the kid put it.  To me they are kind of plain but I am making bentos for more than just me.

Now for my lunch I used this new tiffin I got at Whole Foods.  This thing is HUGH!  I am just using one tier of it today.  There is another whole bottom section that is the same size.  And it all locks together.  It would be great for a picnic bento some day.  But I wanted more salad today so I took the top section and filled it with some napa cabbage.  I love napa cabbage for salad.  It keeps very well.  Then I added my salmon, tamagoyaki, dumplings and other various things on top.  I also made a small salad dressing to put in my new little container.  Looks much better than yesterdays lunch.

Lunch for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Well compared to the last two days these bento's just don't have it.  Even the photos look kind of blah.  The empty spots...the lack of cuteness...sigh

The kid requested bacon today.  Bacon?  Really?  SO today we are having some turkey bacon I rolled up, stuck with a toothpick and pan fried.  I paired that with some chicken wontons.  These chicken wontons came from the freezer section of the grocery store.  I just heated them up in the toaster oven.  I also sliced some purple potatoes and boiled them.  I had forgot about these until they had been boiling for around an hour.  Gee... anyway...So I placed them in a frying pan and heated them up to give them crispness.  Nothing like fried potatoes.

The Oreo Cakesters are making an appearance again today. mmmm  I personally was hungry for a salad so I tucked one in the kids bento and one in mine.  I took some sharp cheddar cheese and cut some circles then added a cherry tomato.  I was trying for a circle theme today.  There are lots of circles alright.  I keep thinking about the phrase circle of life.  And I think this circle of life is at it's end.  Ugh... I am just not impressed with my lunches for today.  I think I will try again tomorrow.

Lunch for Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Well the kid was not embarrassed by the palm tree so today I thought I would be a nice mom and make Iron Man to put on his rice.  I just baked up an egg sheet and cut the nori for the features.  Very easy to do and it looks cool.  I even got a thumbs up from the kid.  I put it on top of some purple jasmine rice I found at Whole Foods.  I use to shop at Whole Foods about once a month.  And I don't know what happened, I just stopped going.  I think it had something to do with money.  LOL  But I was very pleased with my finds from there this last weekend.  Although it is 25 miles from my house.  I also cooked up some teriyaki chicken and some carrots that I cut into square shapes for the kid and stars for me.

The stars I cut for my carrots go well with my alien/creature.  I cut him to mimic the one on the cover of my bento.  (see picture below)  Maybe it's his cousin.  This bento is not very big but I felt it held enough for me.  I sometimes have trouble filling up the kids bento since it has three compartments.  Strange since the volume of it is about the same as most of my other ones.  Oh well, he does eat it all.

alien/creature on bento

Lunch for Monday, May 17, 2010

This weekend in my mail I received these cute chopsticks!  One of my friends put them in with a card swap for me.  It was a nice surprise!

Also while I was out I did end up going back to Borders to get the bowl set that I thought was too babyish.  Yeah I know.  And they had a bento!  And with my Borders rewards card, they were having a 33% off sale.  So I got both of these for $13.00!

But now onto lunch.  For my son's lunch I made him a palm tree.  I hope he doesn't get too mad at me for this.  But I said last week I was going to do something since he thought Friday's lunch was plain.  The bark of the palm is made from cheese and the palms are snow peas.  I sprinkled on some soy sauce and poppy seeds at the base of the tree.  Also today we are trying Sweet Sour Red Wine Vinegar Chicken from Just Bento.  I took time on Saturday and worked on a bento stash for the freezer.  I portioned everything in cups and froze them.  Worked well for this morning.  I just spent WAY too much time with the palm tree and my alligator though.

Speaking my alligator.  On my Paper Scraping Blog I had posted a card using this same alligator.  I thought he was so cute that I wanted him to be in my lunch.  I cut him out of cucumber.  His floaty and snorkel are made from cheese.  His eyes are black sesame seeds and his teeth are rice.  It was a lot of work but it was fun.  I would have loved to added more details but I was out of time.

Lunch for Friday, May 14, 2010

OK my son and I both agreed that those udon noodles sucked!  We will not be having them again.  Glad I only bought two packages.  And for today I only had to make my son's lunch.  I am having lunch with a good friend that interned at the company I work for.  He has shown up the last two summers but has decided to intern elsewhere this summer.  I did make myself a breakfast/snack bento.  I remembered I still had a whale bowl that we got some strawberries in at Sea World last summer.  It made the perfect container for a snack.  I had Emeralds Nuts Breakfast Blend trail mix, some grapes and a strawberry.

So onto the kids lunch.  I pulled out the leftover Lemon Chicken from the freezer.  And added a sandwich of ham and cheese.  I did make the Cherry Tomato and Vegetable Gratin Cup from Just Bento.  We'll see how my son likes that.  When I told him what was going to be in his lunch today he proclaimed that that it was nothing special.  Ha I'll fix him next week and make it super cute and not tell him.  That way when he opens it at school he will be embarrassed.  I know, I'm mean.  LOL  But seriously I think his friends will think it's cool.

Lunch for Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yesterday my son requested sushi for his lunch today. I thought that it would be no problem. I have made sushi lots of times. HA! This must have not been my morning to make sushi. I had so much trouble. But I finally got some of it to look decent to put in his lunch. I wanted just a piece or two for mine but this was not my day. I mean how hard is it to throw some rice on some nori and add some cucumber and crab. UGH!

I did try a new way to cook our tamagoyaki. I have some of these pans that fit across two burners that I use for pancakes. So I whipped up the mixture and poured it onto the hot pan and with my spatula I kept it in a rectangle shape. This made it look more like a traditional one. Yea me!

I had found some udon noodles that were precooked/prepackaged and came with a powder to make a broth at the store this last weekend. I actually found these at Walmart of all places. I did look at the packaging and they are made in California. Works for me. I split the package between both bentos. My son’s bento has some really good tight fitting lids for each of his sections so I put in his noodles and broth together. I just took my broth and placed it in a condiment cup in the center of my noodles to pour on later.

I love my new bento. And I can not wait to have my miso soup. I had bought some but I also received some from Bento & Co with my order. The kind I received from Bento & Co has two packets to make the soup with. One is a sauce and the other is the dried ingredients. My other one is just all in one packet. I’m trying the two packet kind today!

Since this meal did not have a cute factor. I added some dividers. See my bunny and strawberry? Actually the bunny is holding a strawberry but you can’t see it in the photo. I had to have something cute.

Lunch for Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Last night I came home and Fedex had tried to deliver our new bentos.  But it needed a signature.  My son was so excited that he kept asking if we were going to pick it up.  I had just walked in the house and he was ready to go.  So we drove to the Fedex office at the airport to pick up the box.  As soon as the lady sat the box down my son had it in his hands.  And as soon as we got in the car he opened it up.  He was so excited about it he was getting annoying.  He held onto his bento the entire time we were in the car.  He also was worried about his chopsticks getting dirty since they are too big for the bento.  SO we made a stop at Hobby Lobby and I got some fabric to make a chopstick bag and a few other things.  I made the bag last night but I forgot to photograph it.  I did find some really neat freezer packs that are not too large.  That will help keep the bento cool in the summer months.  I was surprised at all I found for the bento's.

While I planned our bentos the day before I had to make changes to my son's.  He didn't want his to look to girly or babyish.  Gee, I want mine to be as cute as can be and it looks like he just wants food.  Boys!!!  He did say I could make some smiley faces.

Now for my lunch I made a sad little kitty.  I didn't mean for him to look so sad but he is.  I took and shaped two hearts with rice and added the heart carrots for the eyes and nose.  And hand cut some carrots for the ears.  I think if I do this next time I will use smaller hearts.  I didn't have much room left for other stuff.

For both of our lunches I made what we call Chicken on a Stick.  I took my bamboo skewers and cut them to fix our bento's and marinated the chicken in soy sauce.  After I threaded my chicken slices on the skewers, I placed them in my toaster oven and broiled for 5 minutes.  Then turned them over and broiled for 5 more.  I placed a small cup of hosien sauce to dip the chicken in and I had made some Easy Sugar Free Carrot Kinpira from Just Bento for my lunch.  Not too sure about this but I am willing to give it a try.

Lunch for Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Last night my son wanted eggs for dinner.  When I asked him how he wanted them cooked the question no longer came out of my mouth when I thought I would make him a tamagoyaki.  I need for him to try some thing before I start making them for his lunches so this was the perfect opportunity.  I did ask him if I could make him a cute dinner.  And he agreed.  You never know with 10 year olds.  So I took a couple of all beef hotdogs and made octopus and crabs.  As well as making his tamagoyaki.  He thought the sea creatures looked good but he didn't like the way they tasted.  Oh well, he LOVED the tamagoyaki.

Now for my lunch for today.  Yesterday I mentioned that I needed to start using a theme.  Well today's theme is Stellar Lunch.  I made a beef patty in the shape of a star and added some sharp cheddar in the same star shape and put on top.  I also cut the stars tail out of the same cheese  I placed the patty on a bed of star shaped pasta and added some star shaped carrots.  It looks like a lot of pasta but in reality it is only about 1/2 cup of it.  I just spread it out real thin.  I also made Red Pepper with Maple Syrup and Chili from the Just Bento website.  Now I didn't use my bento box for this.  When I was cooking up the rest of the green beans on Sunday I thought the tray they came in would come in handy so I washed it up and set it aside.  Well this morning I thought it would make a great bento tray.  AND to my surprise there were two of them.  If it cracks I can just throw it away.  Yipee!  I did indulge today by adding a 100 calorie pack of Oreo Cakesters with some grapes and strawberries.  I can't wait to dig in!

Lunch for Monday, May 10, 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I took myself shopping for anything I thought would work for my Bento.  Then I spent about an hour preparing some side dishes that keep well in the frig for my bento's this week.  With that and some other things I threw in the freezer, my morning went pretty smoothly.  This weekend I did go ahead and buy the Wilton Fondant cutter in four different styles.  Sad thing is I only really wanted the tiny cutters in the set.  I do make cutout cookies from time to time so mini cookies will surely be made with the other sizes.

Some of my other finds at the local grocery store that are not normal for me to buy were black sesame seeds, saffron flowers, poppy seeds, udon noodles, cellophane noodles, pasta that is star shaped, and some kumquats.  Shopping for bentos make you look at food differently.

For today's lunch I pulled some of the teriyaki chicken I had left over from last week from the freezer.  And I cooked up the rest of the green beans before they went bad.  The French Green Beans with carrots and ginger from Just Bento have to be my favorite side dish so far.  I used some of my new cutters for the carrot flowers.  I tried using some leafy greens for dividers and I guess I was just not feeling it today.  While it looks tasty.  The cute factor is not really there.  I may have to start coming up with a theme for the lunches as well as a menu.  More planning.  And I really need my new bento box.  It's cool and rainy here and my new bento is made for soup.  That would have been great for today.

Lunch for Friday, May 7, 2010

Last night I was determined to find a book on Bento's.  I went to Barnes and Noble.  No Bento books.  Then I went to Borders and while I didn't find the books I was wanting, I did find Cute Yummy Time by LaCarmina.  This was the ONLY bento book in either store.

It is a cute book with some good ideas and a really cute story that carries on throughout the entire book about her and her cat Basil.  I also checked out her website and she is twisted in a good way.  Her cat even has a blog.  It was fun to look through as well.  I will just have to order the books I really was looking for online.  sigh  I did find a really cute 4 bowl set at Borders that was adorable and had a cute panda, mushroom, cat, etc all eating bowls of noodles.  I was going to buy it but talked myself out of it.  It was to babyish is what my son said and I agreed.

While we were out shopping I also made stops at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Party America.  I was hoping to find things I could use in my bentos.  I did find some round silicone cups.  My others ones are heart shaped.  And I found these cute cocktail forks and party pix.  I think I may try and make a trip to the only Asian market around here.  Although EVERYONE I talk to that has been there says it smells bad, it's dirty, they make extra money by ringing up your purchases wrong and the staff is rude.  Hmmm maybe I will stick to what's online.

Here is something my son found at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  He said he just HAD to have them for his bento lunches.  I thought they were kind of cute so I took the bait and they are now his.  Beginner chopstick.  HA they look like a clothes pin at the top.  Should have bought myself a pair just for fun.

Now for lunch...
I did not prepare anything the night before since we were running all over town.  So this morning I cooked some stir-fry noodles really quick.  Then took a chicken breast and made some Lemon Chicken using the recipe from Just Bento.  I know I spent more time arranging my food than I did cooking it.  I did feel like I should have packed more fruit into the top portion (see the cute cocktail fork), but as it was, I was running late.  Allergies kept me up till 1 AM so I took an allergy pill and did not want to get out of bed this morning.  I love the little lady bugs.  They were very easy to make and they add the cute factor.  Now my lemon animal.  I can not figure out if I made a mouse or a cat or what.  LOL

Lunch for Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bento box for the son and another one for me is on order.  Plus some other little things.  Can't wait for these to come in.  Neither can the son.  He is actually excited about it.  While I was preparing today's meal he started asking what I was making.  He seemed interested in it.  He also made a comment that I was lucky to have such a good lunch.  And he has been getting out of bed earlier just to see what I am putting in my box each day.  Much better than screaming at him to get out of bed.  LOL

I heard all sort of comments from my co-workers about my lunch yesterday.  Most thought I was crazy, some thought it was cool.  And one person said that if it takes longer to fix my lunch than eat it, I have a problem.  But you know what?  All of their negative comments will not stop me.  For the most part I eat lunch in my office, by myself.  So as long as I know it's cute (and healthier) I am fine with that.

For today's lunch I...get this...cut up some chicken thighs the night before and let them marinate overnight in some teriyaki sauce.  That made it so much easier when I just placed them in a skillet this morning.  I also cooked up some brown rice last night as well.  Especially since that takes 30 minutes to cook.  It seems that no matter how little rice I cook I always have just a little too much for my bento box.  Oh well, I have been saving the extra and freezing it.  I also froze the extra chicken.  And I made the Cherry tomato and vegetable gratin cup that is on Just Bento's website.  It was very easy to throw together and cook in the toaster oven.  Smelled yummy while it was cooking.  Can't wait to dig in!

Top left to right: Bell pepper boat with mandarin oranges on top of a bed of broccoli and grape tomatoes; teriyaki chicken
Bottom: brown rice with carrot and broccoli flourishes; cherry tomato and vegetable gratin cup

Lunch for Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I was browsing some of the bento blogs yesterday and was just so impressed with the cuteness of most of them.  Makes me look at my bento and think it sucks.  But I know, just like with my scrapbooking/card making that the longer I have done something, the better it will be.  Most of the really cute bentos are in a single container and not divided by anything other than a silicone wrapper or baran (think fake sushi grass).  Hmmm I may have to buy me one of those next.  I am trying to contain myself and not spend too much money with my new obsession.  I think I would have already spent a fortune if I could find just one website that has everything I like all together.  Luckily I haven't.  Paying shipping makes me cringe.

Today is Children's Day in Japan.  It's a day to celebrate all children.  Formally it was Boy's day but hey... things change.  But today is also a Mexican holiday called Cinco de Mayo.  Here is a little Cinco de Mayo history I pulled from Wikipedia.

"Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a voluntarily observed holiday that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico"

Now I am very American and I love my Mexican food so I filled my Japanese bento box with a Mexican Fiesta.  I added food coloring to the water of my rice to achieve the Mexican flag.  That meant I had to make three very small batches of rice.  I just used minute rice instead of the longer cooking rice.  The hat on the rice looked better in my mind than it did in cheese.  LOL  I did use food markers to decorate it.  The maracas were made by taking the end of a carrot and shaping it down for the handles.  Then I took a grape tomato and split it in half and added the strip of cheese and jalapeno pieces.  This box took a lot longer to prepare than my other ones and there was absolutely NO cooking involved this morning.  Just the rice the night before.  The beef strips are the ones you can find in the deli section of the grocery store.  I made the pico de gallo this morning using some jalapenos/onion mixture I keep in the frig at all times.  I just added some tomatoes.  And I cut up the rest of the avocado from our sushi the other night.  I had cut it in half and squeezed lemon juice on it, wrapped it up tight and placed it in the frig.  That lemon juice sure works to keep it fresh.  I cut up the other half this morning and I squeezed more fresh lemon juice on it.  Now the lettuce was an afterthought.  The bottom of that portion looked bare.  My son was upset that this was not his lunch.  Going to have to order his bento box very soon!

Top from left to right: fresh pico de gallo; beef fajita meat; avocado
Bottom from left to right: grape tomato maracas with carrot handles and
cheese slice hat on a bed of Mexican flag rice

Lunch for Tuesday, May 4, 2010

YES I GOT IT!!!  My bento box that is.  I was so excited that it arrived yesterday.  Took only one week from the day I ordered it.  My son saw it and asked what I was using it for and now he wants one.  We both are fascinated by Japanese culture and foods.  I showed him a few different ones I thought he would like and he prefers the Bento Military that Bento & Co have.  So I'm sure I will be ordering that soon along with some other goodies they have on their website.

Now onto today's lunch, packed oh so well in my new bento box.  I'm excited can't you tell?  When I was using my planning sheet from Just Bento I was trying to come up with different carb options.  One that I thought would be good is dumplings.  So while at the store this last weekend I did find some frozen dumplings.  Which is so wonderful because I can just cook as many as I need.  They cook up in 10 minutes!  That was even better.  Now while my dumplings were cooking I made my first tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet).  I used the 1 egg tamagoyaki recipe on Just Bento.  It was fairly easy to make and cooked up quick.  I do know I can improve on my technique but for the first time I was kind of proud of myself.  And it did leave me with plenty of time to tend to the dumplings.  I also added some shrimp to my bento for some added protein.  I left them slightly frozen so that by lunch time they should make a perfect shrimp cocktail.  Not pictured is my condiment cups of ranch dressing for my veggies and soy sauce.  I remember at one hibachi place in town the chefs call soy sauce Japanese Ketchup.  LOL

Top from left to right: tamagoyaki; shrimp; dumplings
Bottom from left to right: bell pepper, grape tomatoes, broccoli; strawberries

Lunch for Monday, May 3, 2010

There is one things I can say about eating my Bento for lunch.  I get full.  When I was eating my soup, leftovers, etc I would not get full.  It must be all the rice.  Although this morning I found out that cooking my bento made me real hungry for breakfast.  It just smelled SO good.  I learned a few lessons in preparing today's bento.  Like to cut the chicken up the night before.  It didn't take too long but I really didn't get up early enough to allow myself the time needed.  BUT I did prepare what was on my planning sheet. 

Two of the items I made came from the Just Bento website.  Balsamic Sesame Chicken and French Green Beans with Carrots and Ginger.  I prepared the beans last night while making dinner.  I sampled a few and they are AWESOME.  I know I will be making that again.  I did use fresh organic green beans and pre-shredded carrots.  Was so simple to make.  The chicken was easy to make this morning as well.  But for some reason I thought I had more sesame seeds than I did.  So I just used up what I had and added that to my next shopping list.

I will be glad when my bento box comes in.  I think my lunch will be much cuter than in the ziplock container.  But it is a happy lunch.  See it smile?

Top left: rice balls with nori eyes
Bottom left: French green beans with carrots and ginger; grape tomato nose and carrot smile
Top right: mandarin oranges
Bottom right: Balsamic Sesame Chicken

Last night my son wanted sushi for dinner so that is what I made him.  I have made sushi before at home and it really is not that hard to do.  It just takes some time to prepare all the ingredients.  Ours had nori, rice, crab, cucumber and avocado.  I made one with the nori on the outside and one with it inside for each of us.  It was yummy.